Model UN 2018, Copenhagen: Daily Blog #1
Each year, Linden students from Grade 11 participate in Rysensteen Gymnasium’s Model UN in Copenhagen. Below is the first in a series of blogs from the 2018 event.
Eight Hours Outside My Comfort Zone: Arriving in Denmark
By Rachel Marks, Grade 11
Monday, April 16, 2018
We arrived at Pearson International Airport at 6:00 pm on Sunday. I was late as expected. Due to the ice storm, our flight was delayed 5 hours — it was initially supposed to take off at 8:55 pm but actually took off at 2:30 am. After a sleepless 8-hour flight, we arrived in Denmark and immediately met with our homestays. The girl I am staying with is Isabella, and we have a lot in common (we both have long commutes, we are both vegan, and we both like to run).
From the short time we have been here, it’s clear to see that the culture is very different from Toronto. One thing that's a pretty big difference is that all of the teenagers smoke, pretty much any chance they get. Another difference is the way Danish people dress. Danes tend to dress much fancier on a day-to-day basis. What we would wear to a nice dinner is their version of casual.
Something I thought was also really cool was that high school students get paid to go to school! They told me it is because it encourages students to get an education. The pay increases by factors including age, grade and whether you live alone or not.
The culture here seems to be very laid back in the sense that taking a break is not a bad thing, and is actually encouraged. Students do not get as much homework and typically take a gap year in the middle of high school. When I asked them why that is I was told: “Sometimes you just need a break after working so hard.” I was very surprised to hear this. I don’t think I have ever been encouraged to take a break after working hard in Canada.
Isabella’s family was extremely welcoming and let me settle in right away. After a very long day, I could not go to bed faster. Tomorrow was going to be even more hectic than today.